Memory in GTX 285 versus ATi Radeon HD 4870

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Luba, Jul 5, 2009.

  1. Luba macrumors 65816


    Apr 22, 2009
    Been reading and the consensus is ATi drivers are better than nVidia drivers for Mac OS X.

    The 285 has 1Gb memory but it's DDR3 v. 512Mb of DDR5. I don't know the bus bit size, but taking everything in consideration, I read that the bottom line is bandwidth not that DDR5 is better than DDR3. Which card has the bigger bandwidth?

    Since I don't have the MP yet, it's $450 for the nVidia 285 card or $180 to upgrade to the 4870. 450-180=270 but then I would also have the GT120 to sell. Perhaps I could get $70 for it, then it's a $200 difference between the GTX 285 versus the HD 4870.

    GTX 285 worth $200 more than HD 4870?

    Given nVidia track record, will they in short time improve their drivers to get the most out of the 285?

    Last question: EVGA makes/produces the GTX 285 Mac Edition not nVidia, they just pay nVidia for the design specs? Been reading that nVidia manufacturing quality has been sloppy in the past, is EVGA better at quality control?
  2. Andrew Henry macrumors 6502a

    Mar 4, 2008
    Actually, rather than waste your money on the Apple 4870, buy a XFX 4870 1gb DDR5 and have 2 x DVI ports, and a way faster card. For $150 I might add.

  3. Luba thread starter macrumors 65816


    Apr 22, 2009
    So it's an ATi design, just that XFX manufactures it and with 1GB memory instead of 512Mb. actually see it for even less than $150. if i time it right, it can be had for $115. sheez why does Apple over charge us like that??

    quality-wise, drivers etc., it's the same? Only thing no miniDisplayPort but has 2 dual link DVIs.

  4. Luba thread starter macrumors 65816


    Apr 22, 2009
    Actually the price is all over the place. Saw it as low as $115 on sale, and as high as $250 at Best Buy. Weird.

  5. Andrew Henry macrumors 6502a

    Mar 4, 2008
    It's a way better card than the Apple one, it has faster clock speeds, more memory, and is overall a way better card. It's uses the same exact drivers, the ONLY catch is, you have to flash it, but that's a one time thing, then it works flawlessly, here is the model number you need to get to guarantee dual dvi is working:

    XFX HD-487A-ZDFC Radeon HD 4870

    BUT I ordered that model number and got this:

    XFX HD-487A-ZHFC Radeon HD 4870

    And everything works flawlessly, I bought mine on eBay for $149.99

    Here are the instructions for flashing it, it's super simple and takes just a couple of minutes:

    I would recommend not wasting your time with the Apple 4870 unless you have to have DisplayPort, this card is leaps and bounds better than the Apple card, plus you're not paying for a crippled card with slower clock speeds and half the memory.
  6. Luba thread starter macrumors 65816


    Apr 22, 2009
    Doesn't sound too hard. I have a copy of Windows XP Pro, wonder if it will let me install it on another machine, namely my yet bought Mac Pro. :)

    What's the worst that could happen? The 1Gb 4870 becomes unusable? If it could screw OS X then I would probably wouldn't want to risk it and just buy the GTX 285.

    The GTX 285 would still be more powerful than the 1 Gb 4870, or perhaps close.
  7. Cindori macrumors 68040


    Jan 17, 2008
  8. TheStrudel macrumors 65816


    Jan 5, 2008
    The worst that can happen is that you'll brick your card. It won't damage OS X. The 285 will not best the 4870 at all tasks; as has been mentioned, core image and other such uses don't tend to perform as well on Nvidia cards. But it is supposed to have more raw power.
  9. Andrew Henry macrumors 6502a

    Mar 4, 2008
    The 285 won't be as good in OS X for some things, and is it really worth the extra 300+ bucks? And if you're worried about using it under Windows, just buy 2 of the 4870s, and crossfire them and they will outperform the 285 under Windows and still be cheaper than buying one of the 285s.

    Nothing will go wrong, you're not risking anything.

    And Cindori mentioned a 4890, that requires installing extra things that aren't natively supported in OS X, and you only get one DVI port, so that was a definite no-go for me.

    But if you want to spend the almost $500 on the 285, that's on you, your money!

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